On Thursday 13th February the MP for Crawley was asking a question regarding how to find more about the current arrangements for the M23. This is of course a matter that many of us would be interested to hear about. However not only did Jacob Rees-Mogg not give a very useful answer but his grasp of a request for a brief answer is deeply missing. Just for the record, the question was 89 words long. The answer from JRM was:
“I completely share and sympathise with my hon. Friend’s concern because I travel down to Somerset almost every weekend on the M4, which is going through exactly the same pain. There are random closures without any proper warning and the gantries display messages saying that it will take a few minutes to get to an exit beyond the one that is closed. Highways England does not seem to give one proper information. It is a matter of great significance on which we should have debates, but I think it is more a subject for an Adjournment debate than a debate in Government time.”
This was 103 words in total so only 16% longer than Henry’s question but nevertheless if Jacob had answered with “It is a matter of great significance on which we should have debates, but I think it is more a subject for an Adjournment debate than a debate in Government time.” this would have been less than a third of the answer he did give and it would have given Henry the answer he eventually received. That said Jacob Rees-Mogg is the Leader of the House of Commons and Rosie is merely the Deputy Speaker and given that she is a woman and a Labour MP when she is not a speaker, that may explain why someone with JRMs tradition is even less interested in listening to her than would be the case if she was a Conservative MP who was also a man. However leaders need to be willing to demonstrate their ability to listen to other people or else they will simply retain their title and fail to be a real leader which seems to be the case for JRM.